• Wed
  • Nov 19, 2014
  • Updated: 5:47am
July 1 march
NewsHong Kong

Police say all the arrested sit-in protesters were released last night

Police say 511 arrested on Chater Road on suspicion of illegal assembly and obstructing police after hundreds gathered there and near the chief executive's office

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 July, 2014, 7:44am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 July, 2014, 7:47am
 

Police say all the demonstrators arrested during an overnight sit-in were released last night. Among them a total of 25 were released on bail, while 486 were given warnings and released.

No one was detained.

Hundreds of demonstrators ended overnight protests on Wednesday morning in Central following the massive July 1 march, after police carried out mass arrests.

Earlier today, demonstrators on Chater Road and outside the chief executive’s office in Admiralty demanded greater democracy, a genuine choice in the election of the city’s next leader and, in vain, to meet current Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying as he arrived for work on Wednesday morning.

Chater Road, Jackson Road and Des Voeux Road Central were re-opened to traffic on Wednesday morning, but congestion warnings remain in place.

After 10am on Wednesday police announced that 511 people had been arrested on Chater Road on suspicion of illegal assembly and obstructing police officers in due execution of duty.

Arrests continued in central Hong Kong at least until 8am, the time protest leaders had aimed to continue the demonstration until.

When the clock struck 8, a cheer went up from the about 50 demonstrators left sitting in Chater Road as well as gathered supporters. The protesters then dispersed, with some arrests made.

Watch: Hong Kong police arrest hundreds of demonstrators at Chater Rd sit-in

The overnight protests followed a drawn-out July 1 march from Victoria Park to Central, in which organisers said 510,000 Hongkongers had taken part. Police said just 92,000 had completed the route.

After the march hundreds began a sit-in in Chater Road at midnight in what student leaders had said was a rehearsal for the civil disobedience movement Occupy Central.

Occupy organisers had discouraged participation in the protest, saying the government should be given time to put forward a plan for how the 2017 election should be held.

Another group of hundreds also marched to the chief executive’s office and debated with police over where they could set up camp to await Leung Chun-ying’s expected arrival at 8am.

Police accused of heavy-handed treatment of protesters

'Patriots must run Hong Kong': State newspapers hit back at July 1 demonstrators

The protesters on Chater Road spent the night sitting or lying on the ground, defying repeated police orders to leave the public space.

Media were also warned not to “obstruct” police or face prosecution.

At around 3am, about 500 demonstrators linked arms as police forcefully hauled away dozens.

Among the first to be targeted by police was student activist Tommy Cheung Sau-yin, who had been encouraging protesters using a megaphone.

Police corralled a group using metal barricades and begin to carry or drag them out – four officers per person – of the sit-in area.

Most protestors put up minimal resistance but continued chanting political slogans as they were taken away.

One protestor, an elderly woman, required one the wheelchairs that had been lined up near the protest site in preparation for the arrest of elderly demonstrators and those who refused to walk.

“The reason we are here is for universal suffrage and the future of our democracy,” one protestor shouted, as police officers regrouped and discussed their next move.

“We are here to protest the government not the police. You will regret this day for the rest of your lives,” the protester added.

Arrested demonstrators were ferried away to the Police College in Aberdeen by bus. It is the first time the site has been employed to handle mass arrests.

Some of the sit-in participants left on their own on police orders.

Three lawmakers – Albert Ho Chun-yan, Lee Cheuk-yan and Leung Yiu-chung – are among those arrested.

At about 7.30am, the chief executive arrived at his office in a Lexus car but did not stop at the gate, where more than 100 protesters continued to wait for him.

They chanted “CY Leung step down” as the car passed. Barricades and hundreds of police prevented them from getting near to the premises.

Joshua Wong, a prominent member of the student activist group Scholarism, one of the organisers of the overnight protests, called on demonstrators to clean up the protest sites and to go to the Police College to call for the release of demonstrators held there.

An 87-year-old man who gave the surname Tang was among those who had waited for the chief executive with Scholarism supporters.

“I came because I find Hong Kong increasingly ‘mainlandised’ since Leung Chun-ying took office,” he said.

“The white paper further sidelined ‘one country, two systems’ and I feel Hongkongers’ freedom is under threat.”

No arrests were reported outside the chief executive’s office.

A co-organiser of the Occupy Central movement, Dr Chan Kin-man, said on Wednesday morning that the rally in Chater Road had been peaceful and the use of force by police was disproportionate.

The protests’ dispersal ended Hong Kong’s largest pro-democracy demonstrations in a decade. Discontent had been fuelled by a central government white paper released last month in which Beijing asserted its control over the city.

Fears were raised that Hong Kong’s autonomy and independent judiciary could be under threat.

Estimates over how many people participated in the march overall varied widely. Organisers put the total at 510,000, while police estimated that only 98,600 participated at the peak of the march.

Police did not provide an estimate for the total number of participants in the largely peaceful march.

The University of Hong Kong’s public opinion programme put the turnout at between 154,000 and 172,000.

The march followed an unofficial referendum on options for the 2017 election, organised by Occupy Central last week, in which almost 800,000 people voted.

However, Beijing's top official in Hong Kong, liaison office director Zhang Xiaoming , said in Beijijng on Tuesday that neither the march or the referendum would affect the central government's determination to implement universal suffrage "in accordance with the law".

"What we firmly oppose are illegal acts by an extremely small group of people," Zhang said.

On Wednesday morning, congestion warnings were raised in Admiralty and Central, and drivers were asked to avoid the areas unless “necessary” by transport bosses.

 

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This article is now closed to comments

skypingly
Hong Kong is in such a sad situation today. There are constant complaints and protests, as a result the government is paralysed. Hong Kong was build up by hard working Chinese which escaped the harsh rule of communism. They concentrated in making a living, some more successful than others and never cared a hoot about politics. The British were good and responsible administrators to a certain extend. They did make some mistakes but the good was more than the bad. The bad we're hidden and not politicised as the populace were not politicised. This was a good combination and Hong Kong became one of the most successful area in the world where the only resources is hard working people.
Today it is sad to see Hong Kong being overtaken not only by cities in China but outside China such as Singapore. The new generation of Hong Kong has not seen hardship growing up in an environment where everything is provided. The new generation have high ideals which may not be achievable. They are politicised and Hong Kong seem to be in a dilemma infiltrated by extremist that throw objects in an institution that make the law of the country. Nothing works in HK now. The people complain of a housing shortage, when this is addressed, the people do not agree to provide the land to build as the land is for country parks or to squatters who have no rights to the land. I hope HK will wake up and not fall in an a destructive spiral. Maybe the people in HK will wake up before it is too late.
Camel
Who said that before 1997 there were absolute freedom? Some really do not know that there had been a department which were called "the special branch" administered by the UK government to deal with different political "minds and ideology". If you would had assembled without permission in HK, the "Special Branch" would have taken care of you. Without questioning and without warrant.
And for the protest yesterday, as I said before many times. In the US or in UK/Europe these kind of assemblies would have been cracked down already before they even started. Riot police would have use tear gas, water cannons and sticks to deal with the protestors and even more would have been arrested. So ask yourself, why should the HK police act differently? You can go protesting and you can demonstrate against the government. But don't break the rules and don't break the law. If you do, you and your case are doomed to fail.
Camel
@Baggy
First of all, one person is intelligent, considerate and reasonable. People in the mass are a mob, easy to manipulate and stupid. The less educated the more stupid. That is the case everywhere in the world
Secondly, all institutions in HK were not that independent as you think they were. There were no political eductation allowed nor did you had any political discussions in schools or society allowed. That is how HK was. Take it or leave it and this is now a big issue in HK now as people demand more participation in politics and government but have no clue how politics and government work. Just look what a comedy those lawmakers serve to the public in every single assembly not to mention those protestors and demonstrators including lawmakers on the street. For the lawmakers of the Pan Dems and People Power it is only Show to profile themselves. People responsibility is first of all to think about the society, safety and prosperity of the city and not about themselve first. Every day, there are people protesting outside government buildings for selfish issues. You can protest, but don't fight and fighting is all what they can do. I can not call this intelligent.
Dao-Phooy
The old chestnut about numbers. Police only estimate those who 'complete the march'. What utter rubbish. There were hundreds of thousands of people marching. Even if you don't complete the full distance but waited hours in Victoria Park and then stuck outside the Regent Hotel or Sogo for another hour waiting patiently to go on means you've marched. The police should stop this losing policy on the numbers game as they have no credibility whatsoever on this. None! It's about participation and ordinary people did so waiting patiently to express their dissatisfaction with the Government, the lack of accountability, the broken promise of a high degree of autonomy and the list goes on and on......
michaelhctam@gmail.com
This protest is a joke, the protesters are a bunch of jokes, the entire premise of this protest is a joke and that statue looked like someone ate a whole bunch of paper and vomited it out and assembled it while drunk.
Dai Muff
"In the US or in UK/Europe these kind of assemblies would have been cracked down already before they even started. "
Look up the Million Man March. And quite a few others. This is not Krazy Klown time.
onedistrict
Stability & peaceful co-existence are the keys. Excellent planning, measures & discipline by the HK Police, the deterrent and backbone of a civil society.
Camel
Why would I visit London? I really do not get your post. I am no UK lover and I am not defending the CCP as well. I am a realist and a HKnese who knows what is going on.
And who says the CCP hasn't changed since 1949 is ignorant and has no idea what is going on. The people in Mainland China enjoy more rights and freedom than 30 years ago in China and many reforms are still on their way. I am no CCP lover as well and I do not support the Central Government politics but I understand why the system in the Mainland is like this how it is now. And I have hope that the system will change. Not today but it will change as that is what you do as a Chinese. I am not a British Dog.
Dai Muff
Just don't ask them to count.
raymondspchu
If you find Hong Kong not good enough for you to live in, why not leave? United Kingdom is nice, USA is even better, but their police also have well trained dogs for people behaving like you. Go watch US TV channels sometimes!

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